/Jessica Bertsch

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So far Jessica Bertsch has created 151 blog entries.

Powerhouse CEO Reflects on Company’s Growth, Defining Moment

As Jessica Bertsch nears her sixth year of business, she reflects on the Powerhouse story and what’s ahead.

By Bianca M. Strzalkowski

Sometimes life puts you on a path you didn’t even know you were meant to travel.

The founder and president of Powerhouse Planning never aspired to be a business owner. Jessica Bertsch’s background was in higher education, working at colleges and universities until she married a United States Coast Guardsman. The frequent relocations associated with his military service eventually led to the realization that she would need to pivot her career plan.

Building a portfolio of excellence
“As we moved, it was hard to find jobs within universities,” she explained. “So, with our first move—after I had worked at Purdue University—we kind of decided maybe I needed to look at other areas to work within. And that’s when I hopped over to government contracting, and I was incredibly fortunate to be with a small, but growing firm.”

Jessica says the experience she gained at that firm allowed her to see firsthand what a succeeding venture looks like, which included an increase of human capital and a focus on expanding the firm’s vision. By the conclusion of her work there, the company had increased its revenue by 750%.

Around the same time, the Bertsch’s were beginning to discuss the future—including growing their family. Part of those talks included the reality that her husband’s career would demand some periods of separation for sea time, typically alternating tours every two years. Still, Jessica didn’t want to give up on the resume she had worked hard to build. She would find a way for home and professional life to coexist.

“As we started talking about having a family, I was trying to figure out how we could grow our family but still allow me to have a career and support him out at sea. That’s when someone came to me and asked if I would do some freelance work,” she said.

Tapping into a new talent pool
But average isn’t Jessica’s way of doing business. Instead, with encouragement from her husband, she decided to approach the newfound profession in a bigger way.

“I decided to just go for it,” she shared.

So roughly five years ago, Jessica founded Powerhouse Planning, a company comprised of freelance team members who partner with and support businesses as a whole, and Powerhouse has experienced upward mobility ever since. Not only did she lean on her own education and employment skills, but she also sought out a highly underutilized talent pool: military spouses.

Because of the company’s structure, Powerhouse is able to provide a wide range of services at a price favorable to clients’ bottom line because it includes no overhead costs. The team is built on talent, not location. By working with a fully virtual workforce, Jessica recruits and retains contractors based on performance and skill regardless of geography, a tactic highly favorable to a demographic often on the go because of military orders.

Helping clients improve the bottom line
The company’s portfolio includes supporting a mix of small- to mid-sized firms with their business development, company development, marketing, and internal and external communications. Jessica says that just as she revised her own employment plans during those early years, she applied the same approach to Powerhouse to maximize the company’s efficiencies. And it was an effective strategy because in just five years of operation, the firm has seen advancement.

“Our defining moment was about two years ago when we switched over to doing primarily retainer-based contracts,” Jessica said. “I was thinking about how we can really help companies grow, and that’s when two years ago we thought why wouldn’t we become this virtual team that backs companies and saves them thousands of dollars because they get an entire virtual team—IT, graphic design, quality assurance, project management, social media strategy. They get six people for the cost of one full-time body.”

Retention and consistency are among the core values of Powerhouse’s foundation. Jessica streamlines the process for clients by assigning a single point of contact to them, while striving to connect them with one set team of freelancers. Once Powerhouse partners with a client, the team immediately joins in on the client’s mission; seeing that business prosper becomes a top priority.

“Because we are smaller, I feel we have a larger sense of ownership with these clients,” she added.
To learn more about Powerhouse Planning’s founder, click here: Jessica Bertsch.

2018-06-01T13:47:05+00:00 June 1st, 2018|

Accessories Company Hits Break-Even Point at Six-Month Mark

By: Rebecca Alwine

When Shelly Nicholas was growing up, she spent way too much time trying to keep her hair secured in a hair tie. Years later, when taking a venture consulting class in grad school, she developed a business plan to make a hair tie that actually works. Fast forward 10 (yes, 10!) years, and Pretty Knotty’s FIT TIES are part of a flourishing company.

Most of the business owners we see in the military spouse community are either selling a product that has already been developed or selling a service. Nicholas not only sells FIT TIES, but she also created the product. With her partner Jacob Eberhart, she spent almost eight years in design and development.

“We lost a lot of time trying to develop a brand-new product,” Nicholas explained. “We had several designs that could have been effective, but they were ultimately dead ends.”

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2018-04-23T20:19:53+00:00 April 23rd, 2018|

Did You Know?

Blogging is so 2018. You read that right—the blog isn’t going anywhere. In fact, HubSpot found that companies with blogs generate 55% more website visitors. But, maintaining a blog does require time and consistency. Nothing is more ineffective than a webpage collecting dust.

How can you keep creating quality content? Contract services from companies like Powerhouse Planning. The firm uses a team of freelance writers who specialize in curating readables that will keep followers coming back and that will translate to sales leads. Learn more about what we do at Powerhouse Planning services.

2018-04-23T20:19:45+00:00 April 23rd, 2018|

Five Tips for Creating Branded Content that Grows Your Business

By: Lakesha Cole

It’s no secret good branding is necessary to succeed in business. With visual social media platforms, such as Instagram, growing in popularity by the minute, the shift over to visually stimulating content with catchy copy is no longer something that sets you apart. Rather, it is now a necessity to grow your business and to reach your target market. If you’ve recently opened a business and are searching for a way to market it, consider creating a blog to build brand awareness and amplify a strong brand voice.

Branding isn’t just the visuals. Branding is everything you do—and that you don’t do—in your business. Your brand is more than just your trademark and logo and fonts and colors. It’s how customers associate and connect with your business, or not. It’s not what you sell but more so how you sell it.

With that said, let’s discuss the ingredients for a great blog and how to build one that increases a brand’s following:

Tell Your Story.

Every brand has a story. Write content that tells yours concisely and with passion so that your audience can feel it. Creating your story involves bringing everything that is important in your brand together.

Here are some elements to keep in mind when telling your story:

–    Your purpose
–    Your vision
–    Your values
–    Price point & quality
–    The customer experience
–    Your products
–    Your content and copy

A strong brand identity makes customers feel as if they know you or the personalities behind the business, which leads to customer loyalty and more followers. It will keep customers coming back, too, because they are convinced that you are likely to have the things they want to buy, even if they don’t need it.

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2018-04-23T20:19:39+00:00 April 23rd, 2018|

Eight Ways to Use Social Media for Increased Followers

By: Rheanna Bernard

Social media has become the way to go for businesses looking to increase their exposure. Gone are the days of extensive ad campaigns in magazines and on television. With a growing number of people turning to this digital platform for just about everything, making sure you are in the mix has become a top priority for small businesses, large businesses, and entrepreneurs alike. So, how exactly do you do that? We’ve got a few steps to get you going in the right direction.

1. Decide Your Goal.

First and foremost, you have to figure out what your purpose is. Are you selling a product? Do you want people to visit your website or blog? Maybe you want to sell a product, but you also want to curate a space that inspires people or creates a community where people talk about things—other than your product. All of that is great! Decide on your goal and focus on it as your step one.

2. Give the People What They Want.

Once you’ve decided your goal and started creating content, you have to develop a strategy to sync with the needs of your clients or audience. It doesn’t mean that your goals and their needs have to be identical all the time, but as you see what content really engages them, develop more of that.

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2018-04-24T20:12:42+00:00 April 23rd, 2018|

Client Profile: The Red Bead Story

Powerhouse Service Provided: External Communications

“Working with Powerhouse on developing a website is worry-free! Powerhouse made the process easy, and the outcome completely encompassed our vision of the final site! We are thrilled about our new nonprofit The Red Bead Story and how Powerhouse made our website vision come true.”

– Heather Osborne, Director of Marketing

Interested in learning how we can help your company grow? Email us at admin@powerhouseplanning.com. We’d love to be on your team!

2018-04-23T20:19:26+00:00 April 23rd, 2018|

Business Resources

Having a successful email list is the cornerstone of every business. No matter your size, having an effective way to communicate with your clients and interested parties is a tool for success. While there are many ways to develop and maintain your email list, here are some resources to get you started:

Constant Contact – This resource is ideal for small businesses and for those who are new to email marketing. Constant Contact provides easy-to-use templates and apps without overwhelming the user.

Benchmark – A user favorite in the email marketing world, Benchmark ups the ante in email campaigns. With four different plans available, there is something for everyone. If you are super tech-savvy, you can even edit HTML and really customize your newsletters. Benchmark gives you the ability to do everything from dragging and dropping info to editing your photos right from your dashboard, which sets Benchmark apart from others. Even without an account, you can access Benchmark’s Blog, which contains great info on how to make your email campaigns the best they can be.

AWeber – AWeber distinguishes itself in its niche market by offering their entire range of services to all of their users. It doesn’t matter if you have 500 or 5,000 subscribers, you are accessing the same templates, stock photos, and drag-and-drop features AWeber has to offer. The only thing that differentiates the packages is the pricing. AWeber also offers free virtual email classes and video tutorials on how to use their services, as well as general email tips and tricks on their blog.

2018-04-23T20:19:18+00:00 April 23rd, 2018|

NONPROFIT PROFILE: Camp Corral

By: Randi Cairns

At Powerhouse Planning, we don’t just talk about the person in uniform; we also focus on military families. Because we know something that we believe more folks should understand: Service members don’t serve alone. Yes, they are the ones taking those noble oaths, but more often than not there are loved ones by their sides who—by choice, necessity, or some combination of the two—serve and sacrifice in their own ways.

More than two million of those loved ones are American children whose parents were deployed at least once to Iraq or Afghanistan since 2001. And that figure doesn’t include children with moms or dads deployed in other parts of the world, or those with parents serving stateside.

These youngest members of our larger military family face unique challenges and stresses, such as deployments, frequent moves, household changes, and more. They often feel isolated and unsupported in a world where many in their communities don’t know what it means to be part of a military family. Many of these children are “grown up” before their time, often taking on additional responsibilities and being brave little soldiers (and Airmen, and Marines, and Coasties, etc.).

Camp Corral is working to change that. They provide a free week-long summer camp experience for military kids ages 8-15. During camp, these kids enjoy traditional camp activities (think swimming, archery, horseback riding, campfires, etc.). And they have the freedom to be kids, far away from the day-to-day challenges they face as military kids.

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2018-04-23T20:19:10+00:00 April 23rd, 2018|

Entrepreneur Uses Digital Tools to Grow Business Academy

By: Rebecca Alwine

“Facebook is the one piece of technology I use every day,” Kayla Roof said.

Roof, a business advisor and creator of The Work from Anywhere Business Academy™, praises technology and social media and has used both to launch several successful ventures. As a military spouse and entrepreneur, she knows just how important it is to be able to communicate with clients—and market to customers—no matter where she is.

Leveraging social media

Since 2005, Roof, who earned an MBA from San Diego State and a BBA in marketing from the University of Georgia, has been helping companies develop by using social media. By 2012, she started her own firm. Then, two years later she launched TheNavyMom.com and turned her blog into a television show. Today, as the creator of The Work from Anywhere Business Academy, Roof helps other business owners thrive by offering classes, programs, and online trainings.

“I have a [Facebook] group with all of my customers where I provide extra help and guidance. I provide education through Facebook Live, and I utilize Facebook ads to reach a larger audience,” Roof said.

Social media is what really helped her get started. “Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest have all been essential in creating relationships with potential customers and driving traffic to my website. I teach classes to people all around the world, and I’m able to do so by utilizing Zoom meetings and webinars,” she added.

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2018-01-17T21:14:24+00:00 January 17th, 2018|

DID YOU KNOW?

Recycling old content has proven value. Roughly half of bloggers surveyed by Orbit Media Studios say they update former blog posts, but 74% report getting increased traffic from this tactic.

No matter what stage of the life cycle you are in, you likely have dozens of blogs to source through. Rather than approaching those posts like one-time assets, update them with a refresh strategy—especially with new tools in the toolbox, like SEO, video, and images. Powerhouse Planning offers contributed articles drafting among its many services. Contact us today to get quotes on how to devise a 2018 content marketing strategy that increases your bottom line.

2018-01-17T21:14:15+00:00 January 17th, 2018|